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Should the title fail to express Baron-Cohen's certainty about gender differences, the Cambridge Univ. professor of psychology and psychiatry lays out his controversial thesis on page one: "The female brain is predominantly hard-wired for empathy. The male brain is predominantly hard-wired for understanding and building systems." Defending this bold view is a tough but engaging battle, one that's alleviated by Baron-Cohen's disclaimer that his conclusions refer to statistical majorities rather than "all men" and "all women," but exacerbated by his habit of simultaneously skirting and employing gender stereotypes. His copious evidence ranges from the anecdotal to the anthropological, and from the neurological to the case study (the author and his research team conducted many of these studies). Not all his support fully convinces: e.g., the music-classifying habits of novelist Nick Hornby's High Fidelity protagonist isn't confirmation of the male brain's predisposition to systems-building. After acknowledging cultural and social influences on gender differences, Baron-Cohen "surfs the brain" (and offers evidence from a number of studies, both human and animal) to establish a biological link. But if male rats navigate their way through mazes more easily than female rats, does that mean men are better at directions than women? His speculations on how binary brain types have evolved over the eons, which have the male brain co-opting traits like power and leadership, leaving the female brain with gossip and motherhood, may ruffle a few feathers. Perhaps the most refreshing section of this cerebral volume is devoted to what he calls "extreme" examples of the male brain-autism and its cousin, Asperger's syndrome. The author of previous autism books, including Mindblindness, Baron-Cohen offers curious lay readers a provocative discussion of male-female differences.
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
"Baron-Cohen offers curious lay readers a provocative discussion of male-female differences." -- - Publishers WeeklySee all Editorial Reviews
This is an excellent book and good reading. Baron-Cohen does a superb job in explaining difficult theoretical concepts about the autistic mind with easy to understand language. Read morePublished 3 months ago by Richard Parrot
This book is different than what I had expected. A little disappointing.Published 14 months ago by Amazon Customer
This book is purposefully sensational. Baron-Cohen's disclaimers about how this is just an average difference between males and females does not undo the damage he causes by... Read morePublished 18 months ago by esk
As a psychologist, I've worked with children with Autism Spectrum. Simon Baron Cohen is a leading authority in this area and I respect his work. Read morePublished 20 months ago by Claudia Hoffmann
This is a pioneering presentation of a theory, or explanation, for some widely known facts, such as that autism spectrum behaviors are far more prevalent in boys and men than they... Read morePublished 22 months ago by HD DVD fan
Fascinating book that gave me lots to think about. I found myself discussing the ideas with others. I liked how the book was based on solid research and challenged previous ideas. Read morePublished on July 15, 2013 by Z. Z.
It is a good book to understand differences between men' brain and women' brain. Easy to understand, but mostly same issue repeats itself. It is sometimes annoying.Published on May 14, 2013 by bcem
This is the best book about autism, written in plain language. It is easy to read and understand. I read it and then bought it for a friend.Published on May 8, 2013 by Amazon Customer
very interesting point of view of males and women behave. It's easy to understand, not too technical. Read morePublished on March 11, 2013 by rossella de venuto